John Wesley gets a profile in the New York Times because of his Venice Biennale retrospective, only his second:
Though he has described himself as a loner, he has nearly always been alone in a crowd of fellow artists. He was close to Ed Kienholz in Los Angeles, and his second wife was the painter Jo Baer. Besides Mr. Judd, he has counted Dan Flavin and Robert Ryman as friends, and in a published conversation with Alanna Heiss, the curator of his P.S.1 show, he recounted once making an impromptu beer delivery to Willem de Kooning’s studio, where the two men talked about their shared susceptibility to anxiety attacks.
But Mr. Wesley has always been very uncomfortable talking about himself or his painting, a reticence that may also have contributed somewhat to his below-the-radar reputation. The writer Hannah Green, his third wife, wrote that he made it a “rule never to talk about his work and above all not to catch himself sounding eloquent.”
A tall, slightly stooped man dressed like a Sunday gardener in a chambray shirt and New Balance running shoes, he was courtly and funny during the interview of almost two hours while managing to answer almost no questions about the visual obsessions that return again and again in his paintings: dogs, birds, airplanes, floating babies, lithe pink women and cartoon characters like Popeye, Olive Oyl, Dagwood and Blondie.
Pop and Rococo Meet and Greet (New York Times)